There are days that I spend most of my time in the kitchen – preparing snacks and meals, along with trying to get ahead by making bread for the week, or snacks to have on hand for the weekly lunches – that I feel as if I never want to go back in.

Then there are days when I’m totally in the groove and ahead of the game when it comes to feeding the family.

Right now I feel I have it pretty much under control, but there was a time not long ago that I struggled with the frustration that came every day when the kids would ask, “What are we having for dinner?” It was that dreaded 4:30 in the afternoon time when everyone is tired and getting hungry that would drive me to the point of tears.

The problem was that I was still using my single life tactics. Open the refrigerator, peek inside, and then pull something together. That formula, which worked so well when I was single, no longer works when I’ve four young kids clamoring for a meal . . . a meal that would pass their muster.

Just as I would do when I was single, I would also find myself wandering through the grocery store, looking at what was on the shelf, in the deli case and at the meat counter, then trying to piece together meals for the coming week. I’d come home with loads of grocery bags and a lot less money in my pocket. At the end of the week, the fridge would be filled with a lot of containers of leftovers, and something undecipherable in the veggie crisper. We tossed a lot of food into the garbage.